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Some times temptations can be blatant and in your face. Temptations can appear wearing masks of clearly identifiable things, but they can also be subtle and harder to spot. Acting independent from the one we are wired to worship can manifest itself in so many ways.

I have two blatant areas of temptation in my life. The first would be listening to music with lyrics that are hard on my heart. I gotta be honest, sometimes Christian music just doesn’t have enough beat for me . The second would be road rage. I seem to have zero ability to muster up patience and encouragement for other drivers. In the car, I have words that dull the blade of the iron that sharpens iron. EEK!

But what about those subtle temptations that go more unnoticed? I have talked about my identified temptations of self-sufficiency and taking my life in my own hands. I have spent too much of my life searching for things that do not satisfy. More often than not I rely on myself as authority, and my pride resembles a desire for glory. This makes for some long seasons in the desert.

The final card the devil plays in this game of poker is more subtle than the other two. The temptation is for Jesus to use other power sources other than God. 9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

I think that there are subtle ways our culture taps into other forms of power. We are inundated with “self-help”options. We can practice Yoga to help us relax. Zen is used usher us into deep places with in ourselves. We also practice new age aspects of eastern religions to help us experience centering and meditation. These can be subtle ways of providing for ourselves.

Meditation and finding rest are great things, but how we think about these areas matter. Our power source is God. God states, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He also states, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Jesus’ response is so eye opening for me. He responds to the temptation by stating, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” In essence Jesus is saying, “do not ask God to prove himself or put him in a situation where he would have to prove himself.”

The take away from all three of these temptations is that life is not meant to work outside of God. Our constant temptations revolve around the theme of to making life happen on our own terms. These are temptations to keep us stuck in the desert. My hope is that this series has helped call out some areas of nudging God might be doing in you.

I would love to know what blatant and subtle temptations you have!

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